Containing a re-arrangement of previously-released track “Steel Inquisition”, as well as sic other new songs, Edmonton’s Valyria present their self-released second EP Into the Dying of Time. It clocks in at just over 30 minutes which is a generous offering from the four-piece for an EP. The band’s sound could be characterised as having a progressive, melodic death metal undercurrent (see Omnium Gatherum for one example) with an overlaying of power metal and more theatrical influences giving the music its own unique slant; hints of Symphony X and recent Scar Symmetry are what spring to mind.

Cheesy programmed strings in “that” chord progression [1] are what greets the listener upon starting up Into the Dying of Time – an unimaginative beginning which, thankfully, is the exception when compared to the quality of the rest of the EP. It’s pleasing to hear that Valyria’s songwriting is of much higher standard on the rest of the album, and in balancing several of the aforementioned genres they construct a sound with unique personality and attitude. Across each track within the EP this all comes together to make a very strong combination, and means that the music is accessible for fans ranging across many metal sub-genres.

For its balance, flow and lyrical content, “The Crossing” is a standout track and a worthy introduction to Valyria. A death metal opening and verse gives way to clean and catchy choruses characteristic of classic power metal, interspersed with progressive solo breaks showing a high degree of technicality from guitarists Jeremy Puffer and Andrew Traynor. Representative of the rest of Into the Dying of Time, the track strikes an ideal balance between the heaviness and groove of melodeath and the hooks of power metal.

Listen to the single “The Crossing” below.

Unsurprisingly, as an early (and self-released) effort from the band, production is at times a little muddy given how busy the soundscape can be with multiple vocalists, twin lead guitars and complex orchestration. This is particularly clear in moments where there are harmonised clean vocals over full instrumentation; they do not quite soar and shine as they should. Thankfully this issue is not present with the excellent lead guitar lines, and a particular contrast between the two poles of production quality between vocals and guitar can be seen on track “Of Sky And Sea”. This is not a major detractor, but when compared directly to a more established band it does make Into the Dying of Time a more demanding listen.

Bearing in mind this is an EP early in a band’s career, with a bit more polish to the production Valyria could become something very special, if they continue down this path. Despite first impressions from the beginning of the EP, discovering this band was an extremely pleasant surprise, and I’m looking forward to when Into the Dying of Time is released so I can share it in full far and wide. Fans of progressive metal, melodeath and any genres along that spectrum would be well served by picking up this EP, and I predict bigger things for Valyria in the near future.

Into the Dying of Time Track Listing:

01. Final Empire
02. Steel Inquisition
03. Tome of Shattered Vessels
04. Of Sky And Sea
05. The Crossing
06. Floating World
07. Into the Dying of Time

Run Time: 31:48
Release Date: May 18, 2018

Check out the stream for the re-worked and re-released “Steel Inquisition” below.

[1] The often used vi–IV–I–V progression


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